The e-days blog

The London Olympics 2012: It’s time to start preparing

Authorby 06 April, 2012

LondonOlympics

One of the biggest events to happen in England in some years… In fact, one of the biggest events to happen in England that I can remember ever!

The Olympics 2012 is a big public event that is going to impact your business. So it’s definitely something you should start considering sooner rather than later.

Here are a few facts for you:

  • 27th July – 12th August 2012 ß the Olympic games
  • 29th August – 9th September 2012 ß the Paralympic games

So, what issues are your company likely to be affected by?

Primarily, staff absence.

There will be the lucky few that have tickets to go and see some of the games. There will be others that simply want to watch the games on TV. Either way, for lots of employees, being at work is not where they will want to be during the 2 weeks of games.

What does this mean for you and your company? Well, you’re likely to be short-staffed. And this can lead to problems with workloads, clients and much more.

The solution: Prepare now! Decide on your strategy and policies. Communicate these to your staff. It’s like that phrase the teachers always used to use before your exams: ‘Fail to prepare… Prepare to fail’.

This post will briefly touch on a few different ways you could address the Olympics games in order to avoid the above.

Construct an ‘Olympic Games Policy’

You may well have had some holiday requests from your staff already. If you haven’t, it’s going to happen. And probably soon!

You should decide what your approach to these holiday requests is going to be. From that, you can create your company ‘Olympic Games Policy’. This should be communicated to all employees as soon as possible.

You may wish to simply address these on a first-come first-served basis. Although, this can sometimes be seen as unfair amongst staff.

Another option may be to create a deadline for requests. From there, you can collate all requests and strategically decide which requests to authorise and which are simply not feasible.

In both of the above cases, employees’ will appreciate a fast response to requests as well as it putting their minds to rest.

Introduce Flexible Working Patterns

If you choose to do this, it should be made clear to staff that this will only be a ‘one-off’. It may cause problems for you in the future otherwise.

Flexible working would involve employees taking time off to watch the games during normal working hours. They would then catch up with their workload before or after their normal working day.

If this is an option you decide to implement, it is likely that staff will utilise this rather than, in extreme cases, taking unauthorised absences.

Disciplinary Procedures for Unauthorised Absences

It’s easy to jump to assumptions here. Someone takes a sick day when a big game is on. You see this as a bit too convenient.

Well, the truth is… Maybe it is. Maybe they are ‘pulling a sickie’. But then again, maybe they’re not! There could be a genuine reason for their absence. It’s important to bare this in mind.

The best policy would be to treat every case fairly. Treat an absence the same as you would at any other time of the year.

Last but not Least… Good Luck!

Of course, there are other problems that you should consider whilst deciding on your procedures for the Olympics.

Example: You may be a London-located business. Traffic throughout London during the Olympic Games is going to be worse than ever. It may be more appropriate for you to introduce home-working throughout this time to avoid staff lateness and frustration.

The lesson really is – as long as you’re prepared, you’re unlikely to be affected too greatly by the games.

Here at e-days, we’ve been preparing. Have you?

Good luck. And remember to stay positive!

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